Hot Take: QWERTY makes more sense (on a standard keyboard)

Sure, QWERTY doesn’t put the most common letters in the home row. But putting your fingers in the home row on a standard keyboard is bad, isn’t it? It causes ulnar deviation! So why not just keep your wrists straight and don’t park your fingers in the home row?

However, when I got my first ortholinear split keyboard (a Truly Ergonomic with Cherry MX Browns), suddenly I had a keyboard that comfortably guided my fingers to the home row. Nice! Except QWERTY doesn’t put the most common letters in the home row! So I didn’t like having my fingers guided there.

Well, my solution was to switch to Colemak, and I’ve never regretted it. But I do find that when I use a standard keyboard now, I have to contort my wrists to keep them in the home row, which is kind of a bummer. Fortunately, that’s not most of the time.

Did anybody else switch to a non-QWERTY layout for similar reasons? Or do you use QWERTY anyway and find it not to be an issue?

I had contemplated switching to a non-qwerty layout a good few years ago.

I the end I concluded that at every stage of my life, my typing patterns are going to be a varying mix of Hungarian, English and coding so none of the widely available layouts will be perfect out of the box and no custom layout will stay perfect throughout the years, so I opted with staying with qwerty and getting the most comfortable hardware instead.

My first proper keyboard was also a TECK and it made me almost a touch-typist - it was the first kb where all those touch typing made sense to me. I’m using a Model 01 now and even qwerty feels much better on it.

This approach has the added advantage that I don’t fully turn back into a monkey when I have to type on a random qwerty keyboard somewhere. I don’t expect to have to type on non-qwerty-s out there too much.

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Not (necessarily) so! With a straight wrist (no perceptible ulnar or radial deviation), and all fingers relaxed, my fingertips (the only ones I have unfettered access to, but I’m pretty sure this is generally true of other human hands) form a fairly straight diagonal line at about a 45º angle to the axis of my forearm. When I let my shoulders relax and my elbows rest at my sides (not on an armrest or a table), my fingers line up naturally on a straight row of a keyboard. The only finger that deviates from that straight line is my index finger, which is the most flexible (and naturally straighter when relaxed; the others curl more).

If one types while resting their elbows or wrists on anything, forcing those points to be stationary, that alignment doesn’t tend to work as well.

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Interesting. My experience with standard keyboards tended to be that my left middle finger, being the longest, would most naturally rest on E, which seemed to make sense because that’s the most common letter. Yeah, I could see that it depends on one’s particular hand shape, though.